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When was the first railroad in the United States chartered?

Discover where and when the first U.S. railroad charter was given.

No tracks were ever laid down for the first chartered railroad in the United States. [©Shutterstock, 2010]
©Shutterstock, 2010
No tracks were ever laid down for the first chartered railroad in the United States.

The first American railroad charter was obtained on February 6, 1815 by Colonel John Stevens (1749-1838) of Hoboken, New Jersey, to build and operate a railroad between the Delaware and Raritan rivers near Trenton and New Brunswick. Despite the charter, lack of financial backing prevented the railroad's construction.

The Granite Railway built by Gridley Bryant was chartered on October 7, 1826. It ran from Quincy, Massachusetts to the Neponset River - a distance of three miles (4.8 kilometers). The main cargo was granite blocks used in building the Bunker Hill Monument.

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